I met with Patrick Brault, representing Canada with his company Sirius® Pyrotechnics. No stranger to La Ronde, Patrick was part of the original crew during the first season of the competition, held in 1985. His baptism into the world of fireworks propelled him to Europe, where he spent time with a French company (Éphémère who won the Pyromusical SIlver Jupiter in 1986 and eventually became Groupe F) and also working in the Spanish factory of Antonio Caballer with the now sadly deceased Miguel Caballer. Following Miguel’s death, the factory is now closed and Patrick told me that he shed a tear or two as he loaded some of the final shells from the Antonio Caballer stock into his show.
Patrick went on to be a founder of Concept Fiatlux, with other members of that original 1985 La Ronde crew. He finally left them in 2002 and went in his own direction, taking a break from fireworks, though was the designer of their 1997 show at La Ronde which won the Jupiter prize for the use of the multimedia facilities that were present then. In 2005 his old friend Miguel Caballer contacted him and persuaded him to be the Canadian distributor of their products, thus leading to the birth of Sirius® Pyrotechnics. In 2009, Sirius were selected to present the opening and closing shows at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics. Sirius now produce Calgary’s Globalfest as well as the revamped Honda Festival of Light in Vancouver.
Sirius Fireworks now has the talents of Kelly Guile, owner of Archangel Fireworks based in Winnipeg, as well as Luis Brunchù, co-designer of the show, working for them. Indeed, their crew come from across Canada with members from the Prairies as well as Ontario and Quebec. Patrick told me that both he and Luis spent over 100 hours each designing the show and, a first for a competitor this year, used the ShowSim software to design and visualize the entire display. Patrick laughed as he noted that he is probably responsible for more than half of the updates to that software this year as the complexities of his display made great demands on the program!
The theme title, Eclipse, was inspired by the album by Linkin Park called A Thousand Suns, who’s music features in the display, the finale being set to “Waiting for the end”. Patrick had had an initial idea for the display but the theme finally came to fruition after the discover of his music muse in Linkin Park.
On the technical side, the products used come from Chinese manufacturers Red Eagle, Vulcan and Dancing Dragon; Spain is represented by Pirofantasia, Vincente Caballer and, as I mentioned, some final shells from Antonio Caballer; Italy features Panzera and some specially manufactured products by Soldi. Special effects come from the American companies of RES and NextFX. The display uses 2384 cues and will be fired wirelessly from ramps 1 and 2 with FireOne whereas ramps 3 amd 4 will be FireOne Ultra (where there will be over 1000 one-shots). Ramp 5 will be used for the first time this year and I was sworn to secrecy over some very interesting special effects that will be used. Fans of large shells should be happy as Sirius will be using two 12″ and forty 10″ in their arsenal.